Even in the city, you can’t stop nature. The days are getting longer and warmer. If you look closely, you can see spring flowers poking their way out and up. This reminds me of a quote someone shared with me recently: “If it’s supposed to happen, you cannot stop it. If it’s not supposed to happen, you cannot force it.” No matter how much we plan or think we have control over something, there must always be room for letting go, improving, and growing.
I’ve seen this in practice as many clients and friends around me have been experiencing the depths of joy in welcoming new life to their families, and conversely, deep sadness in saying goodbye to loved ones that have passed. Both of those experiences are life in their truest form – the cycle of nature. And both challenge the body and mind in life-changing ways. In short, it’s painful.
In the almost 15 years of teaching and in my own personal experience of healing from a fairly notable injury, I’m realizing there is no “going back to how I was before.” Pain makes you different. For the better, in my opinion.
But you get to the "better" by mindfully and compassionately pushing through some of the pain (with educated guidance and support, of course).
Lots of studies show that when we experience pain, we freeze. Our body’s reaction to pain is to eliminate any movement that may exacerbate the feeling. Sometimes this is necessary. Sometimes, it isn’t. At some point, the more we freeze the more we slow the process of healing. The more we slow the process of healing, the more we stagnate our growth.
If it’s an injury, the growth I’m talking about is regaining strength, mobility, and/or stability in the area of the body that’s been injured. Plenty of metaphors and comparisons can be made when we are talking about a less tangible physical injury – ego, heart, confidence – and the inevitable pain and freezing/stagnation in growth that follows.
My point here is that we can tap into the strength of our physical body to help heal both physical and non-physical wounds, thaw the frozen ground around them, and grow new strength because of them.
We may not have control over the incident that led us to pain, but in the practice of Pilates, we have an opportunity to connect with our bodies and gain back some control over the process. Be part of the process rather than separate – a thing the process is happening to.
Pilates was originally called “Contrology”: the study of control. I often say to new clients, “The beauty of this work is that it continues to evolve with your body as your body changes throughout life. It’s a practice you can always come back to."
Connecting with our body in a mindful way often gives us the sense of control in moments when we feel we have absolutely none. It’s also a great way to realize how our deep desire to control things manifests physically. By noticing tension and practicing letting it go, we teach ourselves how to let go on a physical level, and I believe it’s a good place to start in practicing letting go on a mental and spiritual level as well.
I’m grateful that our studio offers you an opportunity to connect with your body, and we’re excited to extend that to a connection with community in the months to come!
We love that we can provide a quiet private space for our clients to look inward and focus on themselves, however, we are recognizing more than ever that there’s magic in getting an opportunity to connect with people you cross paths with every week.
Look ahead for chances to get to know some new people, deepen connections with people you’ve known for a while, network, and collaborate! We’ve been concocting some new ideas to feature this fall, including community events and intimate workshops. Keep an eye out for updates on the evolution!